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Foreign workers in rural Japan lack access to language schools

More than 40% of qualified instructors are concentrated in Tokyo

Technical interns receive Japanese-language instruction in Yamagata prefecture. Instructors are concentrated in Tokyo, leaving areas such as Yamagata with a shortage. (Photo by Mizuho Miyazaki)

TOKYO -- Foreign workers in 46% of Japanese municipalities do not have sufficient access to Japanese-language classrooms, as rural areas struggle to procure the necessary number of teachers, Nikkei has learned.

According to a report by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, more than 40% of qualified Japanese instructors are located in Tokyo, where the average student to teacher ratio is about 5.2 to 1. In rural Yamagata prefecture, that figure balloons to 49.2 students per teacher, the worst in the country.

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